A decision to expand the French Immersion program on the Westside to Rose Valley Elementary School has been delayed for further discussion by the Central Okanagan Board of Education. Photo: Contributed

A decision to expand the French Immersion program on the Westside to Rose Valley Elementary School has been delayed for further discussion by the Central Okanagan Board of Education. Photo: Contributed

French Immersion expansion on Westside delayed

School board opts for more consultation on the issue

The Central Okanagan Board of Education delayed implementation of an expanded French Immersion program in West Kelowna.

At the board meeting Wednesday, the trustees had a recommendation from the parks and facilities committee to open a Grade 4 middle entry French Immersion program at Rose Valley Elementary in September 2019 and have the students registered in that program be transitioned to Glenrosa Middle School for Grade 6.

But discussion on that resolution led to trustee Lee Mossman making a motion to defer the French Immersion expansion on the Westside back to committee for further consultation.

Related: West Kelowna school targeted for French Immersion expansion

“No one would like to see a decision on this made quickly more than me as I have been involved in this debate for several years, but I would like to see this put back to committee for more information gathering and brought back to the board in September or October,” Mossman said.

Trustee Chris Gorman, chair of the parks and facilities committee, questioned the reasoning behind the delay.

“I’m not sure what the intention of the motion is. What more consultation needs to be done? We’ve been discussing this for the last year and a half staff have collected data to allow us to make an informed decision, and we had considerable debate about this at the last committee meeting on May 16.

“I feel it is time for a decision to be made. There needs to be some clarity about what’s going on. Where are we going? What do you want to see happen?”

Related: School district moves forward with French Immersion

Mossman wasn’t specific on more information might be needed beyond referring to comments from board chair Moyra Baxter about major decisions affecting the Westside—namely grade reconfiguration, French Immersion expansion and a revised five year capital plan raising the priority for a new high school in West Kelowna—being made in isolation of one another.

“With reconfiguration discussions in January, February and March, we were talking about removing portables from Rose Valley school as a benefit, and now here we are talking about adding more portables to Rose Valley to accommodate French Immersion expansion,” Baxter said.

“We need to look at these altogether in the big picture rather than each of them in isolation of the other.”

Baxter said there is no rush to make a decision now on French Immersion as the earliest implementation target was for September 2019.

Related: French Immersion expands in Kelowna to Dr. Knox Middle School

“Lets stop and take the time to make a decision where the parents are consulted before we make a decision rather than giving them the information after the decision is made,” Baxter said.

Rose Valley parent Sarah Neukomm told the board she would like to see survey done that focuses on parents of primary school aged children, asking if they would enrol their kids in French Immersion and Rose Valley and how many would keep their children in the program past Grade 5 by transitioning to Glenrosa Middle School.

“Asking parents who already have their kids in French Immersion doesn’t really serve much purpose. I would hate to see the resources required to make this program offered and then see very few kids initially registered for it,” Neukomm said.

Baxter also alluded to the fact a French Immersion enrolment survey done 18 months ago shouldn’t be the basis for making a decision now. “It’s not really relevant now,” she said.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@BarryGerding
barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.[CDC]
More COVID-19 exposures reported at schools in Kelowna

Interior Health added additional schools and dates to their list of exposures

Winter driving conditions returned to the Coquihalla Highway on April 10. (ICBC image)
Coquihalla motorists warned of fresh snow

Five to 10 cm of snow is expected today for the mountain highway.

Tom Smithwick has written a new book, Knocking On Freedom’s Door, about his experiences advocating for a drug addiction treatment program in Kelowna. (File photo)
‘Knocking On Freedom’s Door’: A retired Kelowna lawyer’s insights to mental illness, addiction

Freedom’s Doors advocate Tom Smithwick shares what he has learned from experiences of treatment program clients in new book

Royal LePage Arena was an addition to West Kelowna championed by Len Novakowski. (File photo)
West Kelowna community leader Novakowski dies

Former Westside regional district director Len Novakowski dies after lengthy health battle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Sun Peaks is tracking rising COVID-19 cases. (Kamloops This Week Photo)
Sun Peaks sees spike in COVID-19 cases at end of ski season

On April 9, there were 15 positive cases confirmed.

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Most Read